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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Katherine Heslop

Corrie star 'jazzed up' charity shop clothes so bullies wouldn't know she was poor

Former Corrie star Kimberly Hart-Simpson has revealed as a school girl she used to jazz up the charity shop clothes her parents bought her, so they wouldn't know she was poor.

The actress, 35, who played sex worker and single mum Nicky Wheatley in the soap, has spoken of her pride in volunteering at a British Heart Foundation charity shop, and says, despite her success, she still rifles through its racks for good finds.

Kimberly, who left the cobbles last month, said: "My family have always been shopping from charity shops. We don't come from money, so that sort of bargain buying has always been in my blood.

Kimberly as Nicky, a sex worker turned teaching assistant, in Coronation Street (ITV)

"When I was at school we couldn't really afford the stuff to fit in and I knew that if you don't have the stuff to fit in you're going to stand out but not for the right reasons. So I decided when I was younger that if I was going to get bullied they were going to bully me because I looked different rather than they knew we were poor."

Kimberly still upcycles and restyles new clothes new, a skill she learnt when she was a child.

Kimberly volunteers at a charity shop one day a week (PR Handout)

"Me and my brother used to bleach stuff, write on stuff, so they [the bullies] would be distracted and be like 'that's weird' but it's like I don't want you to know my mum doesn't have the money to dress us in what you're wearing.

"Now I just say I'm poor, I don't care, it don't matter, but back when you're a kid it means everything because it depends where you are on the food chain," the actress said.

The Celebs Go Dating star volunteers at the Manchester shops once a week and says she "loves it".

Jake Quickenden and Kimberly Hart- Simpson put their friendship to the test in Direct Line's back up you need experience (Andy Barnes, photographer / Direct Line)
Kimberly emerges from the water after being 'dunked' (Andy Barnes, photographer / Direct Line)

"It makes me feel like the best version of myself when I walk in there. With the people, the stories they bring in, the bargains. Nothing gives me more pleasure than rummaging through people's old stuff."

Despite her fame and high profile Coronation role, Kimberly still regularly buys clothes from the charity shop, and spends £40 there at the "bare minimum."

"I have never bought something from a charity shop and regretted it," she added.

Kimberly gives a thumbs up after being dropped into the water, following her friendship test with Jake (Andy Barnes)

The star, who has also appeared on Hollyoaks, chatted to the Mirror ahead of being harnessed up and dangled over the River Thames in a wetsuit, as she took part in a friendship test with pal and singer Jake Quickenden.

Direct Line's back up you need experience earlier this week saw friends answer questions about each other, with the possibility of being dunked at a sailing and water sports centre in the capital.

Kimberly and Jake, 33, bonded while promoting The King's Man film, earlier this year, taking part in elite fitness training.

And now the 2014 I'm a Celeb runner-up has even got Kimberly eyeing up a go in the jungle- and she says she wouldn't be phased by eating creepy crawlies, joking: "honestly some of my cooking wouldn't be far from the challenges."

"The snake situation would be a big problem for me but I like to do things that would scare me. Any sort of near death experience I am quite into," Kimberly expained.

Kimberly Hart- Simpson has appeared on both Coronation Street and Hollyoaks (kimberly_h_s/Instagram)
The star is passionate about upcycling (

Life is looking good for the actress at the moment, with an upcoming panto gig in Cinderella in Merseyside, but disaster did strike when she had a leak in her house, which ruined a lot of her vintage clothes.

Incidents like this shows why insurance is so important, Kimberly said, adding she also had to use her pet insurance with Direct Line recently.

"Direct Line covers home insurance, car insurance, pet insurance, all three things I have in my life," the star concluded.

Direct Line's back up you need experience took place on August 30, at Millwall Docklands, with a holiday gift card worth £5,000 up for grabs.

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